Annual Insurance Week: Leveraging innovation to enhance insurance penetration in Uganda  

Annual Insurance Week: Leveraging innovation to enhance insurance penetration in Uganda  

Last week, the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda, along with its partners, announced the third annual insurance week, scheduled to take place from March 11th to 15th, 2024 at Railway Grounds, Kampala under the theme “InsureVate – Igniting Excellence in the Insurance Industry.” 

This year’s edition will center on harnessing the power of technological innovation to drive a doubling of insurance penetration by 2025. Currently, insurance penetration in Uganda stands at approximately 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), indicating relatively low utilization of insurance services compared to other countries in the region. 

Speaking during the launch event, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Lubega, the Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Regulatory Authority, emphasized the transformative potential of technological innovation in driving substantial growth within the insurance sector. He highlighted the forthcoming edition of the annual insurance week as a testament to the crucial role that technology now plays in our lives, particularly in the face of unprecedented global challenges. 

Kaddunabbi stated, “The Ugandan insurance industry has consistently demonstrated resilience, adaptability, and steadfast support for partners, stakeholders, and policyholders, reaffirming its dedication to providing protection, stability, and peace of mind, particularly during challenging times. The insurance week will serve as a platform to facilitate public access to essential insurance services, empowering individuals to make informed decisions when considering insurance purchases.” 

Kaddunabbi added, “As an industry, we have fully embraced innovation and technology to enhance customer service, streamline operations, and bolster risk management strategies. We are committed to continuously evolving to meet the evolving needs of our clients through the adoption of digital platforms, data analytics, and personalized solutions.” 

Highlighting regulatory efforts, Kaddunabbi noted, “As the Authority, we have established a Regulatory Sandbox to provide a secure environment for innovators to develop and test market-driven innovations. Through initiatives such as the InsureX program, conducted in collaboration with Innovation Village, we witnessed the graduation of six innovators after completing a rigorous 13-week hands-on training program. These innovative solutions include Easy RIDE, Weetase, Inswallet, Westpay, InsureYo, and CARE4ME.” 

“We believe in the transformative potential of technology and innovation in the insurance sector, stating, “We firmly believe that the convergence of technology and insurance holds immense potential to unlock new opportunities, double insurance penetration, expand reach, and provide essential service delivery and financial protection to a broader segment of the population. This convergence will serve as a catalyst for growth in the industry.” 

Arthur Mukembo, Lead of Future Lab Studios at Innovation Village, stated, “We are proud to support and take part in this year’s edition of the Insurance Week and we would like to encourage the public to actively participate in the event. He emphasized the opportunity to discover and engage with innovative concepts tailored toward the preservation, protection, and growth of wealth. 

Mukembo said, “The Innovation Village exists to empower Africa to architect its future, highlighting the collaboration with InsurTech startups and industry leaders through the IRA InsureX Accelerator program. He emphasized the efforts of the Future Lab Studio in facilitating scalable pathways and opportunities for these startups to reach underserved communities, equipping them with growth prospects and access to capital to fuel their ambitions. 

Mukembo furthermore called upon industry partners to seize innovative opportunities create by these Insurtech’s to enhance value delivery and customer satisfaction, emphasizing the importance of envisioning, constructing, and implementing novel solutions to unlock growth. He stressed the crucial role of technology and innovation in extending the accessibility of insurance services to marginalized populations, ultimately contributing to the establishment of a resilient and prosperous economy. 

Currently, insurance penetration in Uganda remains at a mere 0.85% of GDP, significantly trailing behind the Sub-Saharan Africa average despite the growth in gross written premiums. This starkly low penetration exposes a significant protection gap, leaving millions of Ugandans vulnerable to the financial ramifications of unforeseen events such as health emergencies, natural disasters, and crop failures. 

At the Innovation Village, we are dedicated to nurturing an ecosystem hungry for growth by fostering impactful ventures and unlocking diverse opportunities for innovators in the insurance sector. Our efforts encompass enhancing adoption rates, discovering new revenue streams, refining routes-to-market and cost structures for acquiring and serving customers, and expediting time-to-market. We are particularly focused on realizing the transformative potential of the insurance sector in safeguarding the aspirations and contributions of individuals propelling economic advancement.